BA PART III : PAPER 5.3
The Birth Star and the Birth Moon
In fixing auspicious times, apart from the special planetary combinations to be applied for specific purposes, there are three factors which are common to almost all elections and which require the astrologer's most careful attention. They are (a) Tarabala or strength of constellation, (b) Chandrabala or lunar strength, and (c) Panchaka or five-source energy. These three should be satisfactorily disposed. Otherwise an election chart will lose its significance.
Strength of Constellation. -
The constellation ruling at the time of birth is one's Janmanakshatra or birth star and the zodiacal sign in which the Moon is situated at the time of one's birth is one's Janma Rasi or Birth Moon. These are highly important. Count from the birth constellation to the one ruling on the particular day on which a new work is to be done or a journey undertaken and divide the number by 9 if divisible. Otherwise keep it as it is. If the remainder is 1 (janma) it indicates danger to body; if 2 (sampat) wealth and prosperity; if 3 (vipat) dangers, losses and accidents; if 4 (kshema) prosperity; if 5 (pratyak) obstacles; if 6 (sadhana) realisation of ambitions; if 7 (naidhana) dangers; if 8 (mitra) good; and if 9 (parama mitra) very favourable. There are certain exceptions to the favourable and unfavourable results ascribed above and they will be dealt with in the appropriate places.
Example: - A man born in Aswini elects to undertake a journey on a day ruled by Sravana. Counting from the man's Janma Nakshatra to the one ruling on the proposed day. the number will be 22. This divided by 9 leaves a remainder of 4. This goes under kshema or favourable and hence Tarabala is good.
When the day's nakshatra falls in the first Paryaya or cycle, that is-within the first nine stars, the evil suggested above, viz. 3rd star Vipat. 5th star Pratyak. etc., holds good in full.
In the Second Paryaya or cycle, e.g. Janma Nakshatra, etc., falling from the 10th to 18th, the evil is said to be only fifty per cent. In fact the evil is centred only in the first quarter of the 3rd (Vipat), the 4th quarter of the 5th (Pratyak) and the 3rd quarter of the 7th (Naidhana) of the second cycle.
In the third cycle or Paryaya, the Janma, Vipat, etc., falling from the 19th to 27th the evil is said to be almost negligible. Suppose the birth star is Rohini and the day's star is Satabhisha. The day's star counted from birth star comes to 21. or the 3rd in the third cycle. The 3rd is Vipat. But it is said to carry little or no evil.
In my humble experience, it is better to avoid Vipat and Naidhana stars for all important undertakings - long journeys, marriage, starting of an enterprise, etc., even if such a star happens to fall in the 3rd-cycle, unless there are other counteracting factors.
According to some classical writers, the 22nd and 27th stars are always inauspicious. But our experience is to the contrary. The 22nd is always sadhana and the 27th parama mftra and hence they could be considered as auspicious.
- As we have already said above, the consideration of the Moon and his position are of much importance in Muhurtha. To be at its best, the Moon should not occupy in the election chart, a position that happens to represent the 6th, 8th or 12th from the person's Janma Rasi.
To take another example: a person born in Mrigasira (Janma Rasi being Taurus) wants to have his marriage on a day ruled by Bharani which means the Moon will be in Aries. There is neither Tarabala (as Bharani will be Naidhana to Mrigasira) nor Chandrabala (the Moon on the election day falls in Aries which would be the 12th from the subject's Janma Rasi). Hence, the day is most inauspicious. Certain constellations, apart from their being harmonious or otherwise disposed with reference to one's own Janma Nakshatra, should be avoided for certain specific purposes on account of their inherent evil natures. In fact, Bharani is condemned for all good work and it has to be scrupulously avoided for all good work.
Panchaka (Five-Source Energy). -
For matters of ordinary importance such as interviewing superiors or going on short journeys, a favourable Tarabala will do and there is no need to consider the panchaka. But in regard to very important ceremonies such as marriage, nuptials, entry into new houses, etc., this should be carefully looked into. There are several methods by which panchaka is determined. I shall give the most common method. In the panchaka determination apparently, five sources of planetary, stellar and zodiacal energies are involved. Take the number of the lunar day (from the 1st of the month), the number of the weekday, Sunday I. etc.), the number of the constellation (from Aswini) and the number of the Lagna (from Aries). Add these together and divide the total by 9. If the remainder is 1 (mrityu panchakam), it indicates danger; if 2 (agni panchakam), risk from fire; if 4 (raja panchakam), bad results; if 6 (chora panchakam), evil happenings and if 8 (roga panchakam), disease. If the remainder is 3, 5, 7 or zero then it is good. As an example, let us assume that A wants to start a business on a day and time otherwise conforming to the requirement of Muhurtha-the constellation being Aslesha, the lunar day being the 13th, the rising sign being Virgo and the weekday Sunday.
Calculating the panchaka, we get -
Number of the lunar day 13
Number of constellation 9
Number of weekday 1
Number of zodiacal sign 6 --
Dividing this by 9,
we get 29/9 = 3 2/9 - 2 as remainder.
It indicates Vahni or fire and hence the time selected is not favourable. In dealing with this subject. Prof. B. Suryanarain Rao observes thus in bis famous book ASTROLOGICAL MIRROR: "There are many things as in medicine, so in astrology which when properly understood and followed would tend to minimise the chances of evil influences indicated by planets, lunar days, constellations and rising signs and in all these the idea seems to be to avert the evils which would arise as a matter of fact from the attraction or combination ot the subtle influences contained in Time and the chemical changes which arise from the conjunctions and repulsions of various forms of energies, some of which are visible, while many of which ars subtle and very mysterious in their nature."
The general rule of avoiding unfavourable panchaka has certain exceptions. When an election is to do with occupation, avoid Raja Panchaka. In elections bearing on house building avoid both Raja and Agni Panchakas. In regard to travel, Chora Panchaka should be rejected. In marriage and upanayanam, Roga and Mrityu Panchakas should be avoided. Conversely it also means that a panchaka declared unsuitable for a particular type of election could be used for a different kind of election. No astrological authority has specifically approved this step but by implication, we can assume that there is no objection if, for instance, we ignore raja panchaka for travelling or marriage or roga panchaka for house-building. As far as possible, it is advisable to avoid the evil of panchaka in general irrespective of its definite bearing on an election. But when a more auspicious day cannot be secured, we can resort to the lesser of the two evils.
As regards Tarabala referred to above, it is no doubt advisable to avoid a day that is ruled by the 1st, 3rd; 5th and 7th constellations. But when the day is otherwise favourable, only the negative parts of these unfavourable constellations may be avoided. Thus, in the Janma, Vipat, Pratyak and Naidhana constellations, the first 7, 3, 8 and 6 ghatis respectively may be considered evil and avoided. Thus, a man whose Janma Nakshatra is Pushyami can undertake a venture on a day ruled by Makha (Vipat) provided he avoids the first seven ghatis of the constellation. The stigma attached to the star being Vipat no longer holds good. Generally these exceptions are resorted to only under special circumstances when an election is to be urgently made and when the undertaking admits of no delay.
A day ruled by one's Janma Nakshatra is ordinarily held to be unfavourable for an election. But in regard to nuptials, sacrifices, first feeding, agriculture, upanayanam, coronation, buying lands, learning the alphabet, Janma Nakshatra is favourable without exception. But it is inauspicious for war, sexual union, shaving, taking medical treatment, travel and marriage. For a woman, Janma Nakshatra would be quite favourable for marriage.
There are several technicalities to be considered in the selection of auspicious times and in spite of the apparent inconsistencies to be found in the opinions expressed by different classical writers on this subject, I have endeavoured to give the easiest and what, in my humble opinion, are the most reliable principles bearing on this all-important subject.